What does it take to take a historic model and start building new versions of it? If you’re Aston Martin and the continuation model in question is the DB4 GT Zagato, about 4,500 hours of work for each of 19 cars.
The UK luxury maker is about halfway into it’s very-limited build of the brand’s most valuable new car to date, with ten of the cars in various stages of construction, while one car is undergoing dynamic testing to ensure it delivers the kind of performance Aston Martin owners expect, even from a 56-year-old model.
“It’s a privilege for all of us here at Newport Pagnell, as part of the Aston Martin family, to work on these remarkable ‘new old’ cars,” said Paul Spires, President of Aston Martin Works. “The Continuation programme we started here with the DB4 GT Continuation in 2017 (producing 25 cars), that has now spawned the iconic DB4 GT Zagato Continuation, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us to contribute to the rich history of this great British luxury sports car brand.”
The facilities at Aston Martin’s Heritage Division headquarters, with production now able to handle several cars at the same time thanks to modern facilities that also allow the space and time for artisans to handcraft their contributions to the finished product. But it’s still far from an assembly line.
The DB4 GT Zagato had one purpose — to race face to face with the mighty Ferraris of the 1960s. They started life as DB4 GTs, which were then transformed by Zagato chief stylist Ercole Spada into smaller, lighter (by 45 kg), more aerodynamic cars through the switch from steel components to aluminum ones, and by doing away with components that weren’t required for racing, such as bumpers. Just 19 were produced from 1960 to 1963.
“I’m thrilled to see this ambitious Continuation project bear fruit in such an exceptional way. It took courage, vision and incredible dedication for all those involved to take this idea and make it the stunning reality it is today,” Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO. “The DB4 GT Zagato is one of the true jewels of Aston Martin’s proud heritage and, paired with the new beauty that is the stunning DBS GT Zagato, the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation cars are a unique and fitting celebration of the brand’s 60-year love affair with this unmatched Italian automotive style icon.”
The DBZ Century Collection consists of the DB4 GT Zagato Continuation with deliveries are expected to start in Fall 2019 and the DBS GT Zagato in fall 2020. The cost is £6 million ($9.7 million Canadian).